SINGAPORE: The management of 24-hour gym chain Anytime Fitness has apologised to one of its members who was charged a S$60 (US$44) tailgating fee at its Bugis outlet, saying it was a “lapse in protocol” and that “proper reparations” will be made.
The member took to TikTok on Tuesday (Aug 29) to dispute the fee, posting screenshots of his text message exchange with Anytime Fitness.
Anytime Fitness told him that its closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage showed he failed to close the door behind him while entering the gym on Monday evening, leading to an unidentified woman entering without using a key fob.
The gym said it would charge him a S$60 tailgating fee if he could not verify that the woman was an Anytime member. It added that if he did not pay within seven days, he would be banned from all outlets.
The member, who identified himself as “alaness” on TikTok, responded that this was “very unfair” and that he did not notice someone was behind him.
He also questioned if he was expected to “push her out (and) close the door on her” before telling her to tap her key fob to enter the gym.
Anytime Fitness then told him it was his sole responsibility to ensure the other member used her key fob to enter, and that members are briefed on this when they sign up as part of the gym’s terms and conditions.
The man said he ended up paying the S$60 fee after going to the Bugis outlet to view the CCTV footage. He could not identify the tailgater.
He also said he would not continue going to the Bugis outlet after his contract ends.
On Wednesday evening, Anytime Fitness’ Bugis outlet addressed the incident in an Instagram story video, saying its management came to know of the incident after members of the public highlighted it.
It wrote that the chain’s tailgating policies “exist in order to protect members” and “ensure a safe environment for all gym users”.
“However, it is clear after review that the interpretation of the incident was erroneous, and the subsequent action taken by the staff of AF Bugis was a mistake. Members in good standing should not be penalised for a lapse in our security systems,” it said.
The outlet’s management expressed its gratitude to the public for “bringing this lapse in protocol to our attention”, and that such incidents will ensure it improves its systems.
“The management will take all necessary steps to ensure proper reparations are made for the wrongful actions taken against the member in good standing and take all necessary measures to ensure no such incidents occur in the future,” it added.
When CNA contacted Anytime Fitness’ Bugis outlet, a staff member said no further comments would be issued beyond the statement on Instagram.
CNA has reached out to the member involved.
In a separate video on TikTok, he shared screenshots of the gym’s terms and conditions. One of the terms stated that members must not allow anyone else to use their key fob, and must raise an alert immediately if it is lost or stolen.
If a member violates this policy, they could be charged a guest fee and/or have their membership suspended or cancelled, subject to a cancellation fee.
The man questioned if this policy applied to him, given that he did not allow the woman to use his key fob. He said that nothing on tailgating was mentioned in the terms and conditions.
He added that according to another term in the letter of membership acceptance for Anytime Fitness, if someone else enters using a member’s key fob, the member may be charged a “guest fee (currently $30)”.
He asked when Anytime Fitness had raised the fee quantum.
He also flagged a Google review posted by another member of its Bugis outlet four months ago, who said he was made to pay a S$60 tailgating fee when he followed his friend – also an Anytime Fitness member – into the gym without using his own key fob.
“Is this price increase justifiable? I’ll just let you guys think about it, but for me, I definitely feel that this is very fishy,” the man added.